Retreat Staff Spotlight: Heather Hartke
Our Retreat Staff at Black Diamond go the extra mile to see that our guests get the experience they’re looking for! From the initial planning stages until the very end of your stay, these leaders are committed to serving and serving well.
Today we’re featuring… Heather Hartke!
Hello! What’s your name?
Where are you from?
Born and raised in East Texas!
What’s your position on the retreat staff and what does it involve?
Retreats Director. I work with a team of four Retreat Coordinators during the non-summer months to book, coordinate, and host all of the retreats that come out to camp.
What’s your favorite thing about your role?
One of my favorite things about working in the Retreats department is getting to dream big with our guests. We want to hear their dreams and desires for each retreat and figure out how we can make that come to life. We also want to take care of everything behind the scenes so leaders don’t have to worry about the logistics, and instead, focus on growing the relationships with their community.
How did God bring you to Black Diamond?
I got the opportunity to work in several different programs at our Camp Eagle location starting in 2011. Everything from being a Group Camp counselor, to serving in the kitchen for a summer, to experiencing the Walkabout program, then serving for a year as a facilitator with Retreats. A few years down the road, after leaving Camp Eagle, my husband and I felt the call to continue serving in camp ministry in the Pacific Northwest at Black Diamond Camps. We loaded up the cars with our stuff and our dog and headed across the country from Texas to Washington for an adventure of a lifetime!
When you’re not busy helping groups have an amazing retreat experience, what do you like to do?
The Pacific Northwest has so many beautiful and yummy places to experience. When I’m not enjoying some time at home with my family and dogs, catching up on our favorite shows or movies, you can find us checking out some of our favorite food stops around town!
Can you tell us about one specific moment or experience that has deeply impacted your life, while working on retreat staff?
I love getting the opportunity to host programmed retreats for our guests – Family Camp, Father/Daughter Retreat, Couples Retreat, etc. During our Couples Retreat, we love to offer a “Date Night” for the couples, so they can get away with one another and be served by our staff for the evening. I remember one of the first Date Nights that I got to host, one of the couples was sharing with us that this was the first date they have gotten to go on in a very long time because of their busy schedules with work, children, and life. Getting the opportunity to sit down, have uninterrupted discussions with one another, and spend the evening full of zero distractions was a huge blessing for them. Those are the moments that remind me of why I do what I do here at camp and why I love it so much. I want to remove all distractions and serve our guests so that they can grow in their relationships with one another as well as with the Lord while they are at camp.
Why should groups choose Black Diamond as their retreat destination?
One of the great things about our retreats here at camp is that they are completely customizable. We want to help you design a retreat that is the perfect fit for your group. Our mission at Black Diamond Camps is to inspire Christ-like change through outdoor adventure, authentic relationships, and Biblical truth. We want to get you out of your comfort zone and away from your daily routine so that you can experience the Lord’s presence in a new and exciting way. We have tons of activities to choose from like ziplining and rock climbing that can challenge your fears and allow you to grow closer together as a group through opportunities of unity, trust, and communication. Our staff is here to serve you in every way that we can. We are here to do everything from set up to clean up, so that you as a leader can take a step back and focus on building those relationships in your group. And through all of that, we want to provide a place where you can come and share God’s word with one another through those elements. I have gotten the opportunity to work in many different areas at camp, and one of my favorites is getting to serve every guest that comes out. I truly enjoy getting to work behind the scenes and create opportunities for pastors and leaders to come, relax, and fellowship with one another without the stress of planning. Let’s dream big together!